New 'ground-breaking' addition announced for this year's Boston May Fair

Visitors will be welcomed to the ‘new environment’ when the May Fair hits town next month
Boston's May Fair. Photo by John Coupland.Boston's May Fair. Photo by John Coupland.
Boston's May Fair. Photo by John Coupland.

Boston May Fair will offer a sensory-friendly experience for families of children with additional needs – in what Boston Borough Council calls a “ground-breaking move”.

Hosted by the council and the Showman’s Guild, the initiative aims to “provide an inclusive environment where all families can enjoy the festivities without the challenges of sensory overload”.

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The fair will take place from Saturday May 4-May 11, with the silent period scheduled for Sunday, May 5, from 11am to 1pm, in Bargate Green Car Park and Wide Bargate.

Boston May Fair runs until Monday, May 8.Boston May Fair runs until Monday, May 8.
Boston May Fair runs until Monday, May 8.

A spokesperson for the council says the fair “will welcome visitors to an environment without sound”.

They went on: “This thoughtful adjustment seeks to accommodate individuals who may find traditional fair environments overwhelming due to sensory sensitivities.

“Families with autistic children, sensory processing disorders, or other conditions that make them sensitive to noise will now have the opportunity to participate fully in the excitement of the May Fair. By eliminating sound during the specified hours, organisers hope to create a more accessible and enjoyable experience for all attendees.”

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The council says its decision to introduce a sensory-friendly session at the May Fair “reflects a growing awareness and commitment to inclusivity within the community”.

One of the more hair-raising rides at the May Fair.One of the more hair-raising rides at the May Fair.
One of the more hair-raising rides at the May Fair.

"Recognising the diverse needs of its residents, Boston Borough Council and the Showman’s Guild have taken proactive steps to ensure that everyone can participate in this beloved event,” the spokesperson added.

Coun Dale Broughton, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Town Centre inc Events, commented: "We are delighted to collaborate with the Showman’s Guild to make the May Fair more inclusive. By offering a sensory-friendly experience, we hope to create lasting memories for families who may have previously found it challenging to attend such events.”

The spokesperson added: “The Showman’s Guild, a key partner in this endeavour, has shown unwavering support for the initiative, recognising the importance of making community events accessible to all. Their co-operation underscores a commitment to diversity and inclusion within the fairground industry.

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“As preparations for the sensory-friendly May Fair continue, organisers are optimistic about the impact this initiative will have on the community. By fostering an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued, the Boston May Fair sets an example for other events to follow suit in prioritising accessibility and inclusion.”

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